Guemes to Santander
Distance: 10.6 miles (17 kilometers)
Total Ascent: 80 meters
Calories Burned: 2,044
I’m in a bad mood. I have been for most of the day. And Andrew has been too. But I don’t think that either one of us are the cause.
We had a wonderful dinner last night at our albergue, where the 74-year-old owner, Ernesto, explained how the property came to be, with no help from the church or government. We then had a huge meal with friends and a nice (surprisingly) quiet night of sleep in a private room with our friends Lisa (Germany), Martin (Austria) and Ingrid (Holland). No one snored, and we awoke relatively well-rested and happy.
We had a pretty easy walk today along beautiful coastline and through a grassy path, accompanied by a ferry ride. All should be well with us, but it wasn’t. Our weight was getting to us. Andrew has been carrying approximately 20 kilograms (45 pounds) so far, and I’ve been carrying appx. 9. Both of us have had trouble with it, and today marked our turning point.
We’ve been carrying a tent, two sleeping pads, two sleeping bags, extra gym shoes and cold-weather jackets to date, and they have all proven almost wholly unnecessary. We finally decided that today was the day that we should stop being strong to prove a point and should instead send this weight on to the end of our trek.
When we arrived in Santander today (a beautiful city, by the way), we had a long lunch (with a bit too much wine) and then set off for the post office. Nearly 60 pounds and 33 euro later, our extra weight has been sent on to Santiago.
What a relief!
So now, as we are taking inventory of our stuff, here is what we would do differently on future caminos:
-no tents – it is impossible to use them in most locations and they weigh 8-9 pounds too much;
-no jeans and cold-weather jackets – do your research, Sherlock;
-no camelback – you will need to carry a backpack, and the added weight of the water on your front will cause shoulder pain;
-no hair gel, brush, vitamins, etc. – all you need is one travel shampoo that can also be used as soap;
-yes to needle and thread – use these to puncture blisters and bleed without need for medication;
-yes to zip ties – can repair rips in backpack; and
-no need for more than two outfits with an extra pair of underwear.
I’m sure we will learn more along the way, but we are already feeling so relieved to get this weight off our backs.